Come summer, and one of the biggest health issues faced becomes dehydration. Excessive heat, especially in countries like India, can lead to the body losing more fluid and often at a very fast rate. If these bodily fluids aren’t replenished quickly, then dehydration can set in, which in turn leads to fatigue, dizziness, headache and gradually a decline in body and mind functions.
A study published in Nutrition Reviews in 2010 revealed that while drinking water is the best way to keep dehydration at bay during summers, fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products are also great sources of fluids. Based on this, and the traditional home remedies for dehydration passed down by generations of Indians, the following are the healthiest cold drinks you can have this summer:
1. Buttermilk: This fermented dairy drink has yoghurt and water, and is often flavoured with sugar or salt. Not only does it replenish fluids but also provides electrolytes and probiotics.
2. Lassi: It’s cool, made with yoghurt, and is often flavoured with fresh fruits, mild spices and salt. This drink is packed with probiotics, which can additionally provide some relief from stomach issues during the summer.
3. Lemonade: Packed with vitamin C, a tall glass of lemonade can also provide electrolyte balance because usually some amounts of sugar and salt are added to it.
4. Watermelon juice: Watermelon is a summer fruit packed with vitamins A, C, E and B complex, and many essential minerals. Watermelon juice is one of the best summer drinks you can have to replenish nutrients and fluids.
5. Barley water: Pearl barley - when boiled in water, strained and cooled - makes for a nutrient-dense summer drink that is very filling as well. Barley water should definitely be a part of your summer diet.
6. Coconut water: The water of tender coconuts is packed with vitamin C and minerals like potassium, sodium, etc. You don’t need to add anything to this drink, because it’s perfect as it is.
7. Aam panna: Aam panna is a traditional Indian drink made with raw mangoes, water, salt, etc. Raw mango is packed with vitamins, minerals and folate, so this drink is perfect for summers.
8. Cucumber juice: Cucumber is not only packed with dietary fibre and minerals, but also has the elusive vitamin K. Juicing a cucumber with water, and adding salt and lemon juice to it makes for a refreshing summer drink.
9. Bael sharbat: Another desi drink, bael sharbat or Indian wood apple juice is packed with protein, vitamins and minerals like calcium - all of which make this a highly nutritious summer drink.
10. Sattu sharbat: Sattu is a traditional Indian powder made from different pulses and cereals. This makes the summery drink made with it highly nutritious and a great source of fluids.
For more information, read our article on Dehydration.
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